After another leisurely workout (sigh, why can’t I have more free time?), I hopped on the Ferry in Oakland. The ferry was to drop me off directly at the Ferry Building in San Francisco where I was to navigate through a huge farmer’s market. Being the planner that I am, I had a light breakfast so I could enjoy all of the samples 🙂

The weather was sunny and 60 and I was overwhelmed by the many colors, smells, and variety of samples. Overwhelmed in a good way though. I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking, but all I can say is, I was thoroughly impressed and wish some of the unique aspects of this farmer’s market could be brought back to the ones I frequent in the east.

produce collage

I’ve never seen the Buddha’s Hand (fruit ?) before, and I should have purchased just to try. Oh well, maybe I will encounter the Buddha again. I also loved the wide variety of peppers. We’re so used to seeing green and overpaying for red and yellow, that its surprise to see so many other varieties.

In addition to the produce, there were dips galore. Sweet, Salty, Fatty, Healthy…and of course samples of all. Here’s some of my favorite tastes from the day:

dips collage

Its a really good thing for my wallet that you can no longer bring liquids on board a flight because I was tempted by many of the oils and dips. All of the pictures above were taken at the stalls set up outside of the Ferry Building. Inside of the building are culinary supply stores, coffee shops, and permanent vendors and restaurants. I am a bread lover and had been looking forward to trying Acme Bread, so I headed inside to find their bakery.

acme

After contemplating for the length of the time waiting in line (about 10 minutes), I decided to do an ACME bread tasting:

  • one sweet: Pumpkin roll with walnuts, fresh cranberries, yellow raisins
  • one traditional: sourdough french baguette
  • one salty: rosemary whole wheat roll

bread tasting

A sat on a bench looking out to the water, sipping my Pete’s coffee while doing a bread tasting. What a life! The sourdough was nothing extraordinary, the pumpkin bread was like a delicious pastry; the fresh cranberries instead of dried, were mushy and flavorful. But, it was the rosemary that I couldn’t get over. Seriously, one of the most delicious breads I have ever tried. The rosemary flavor was so distinct and the crusty of the outside versus soft of the inside was perfect. I quickly fed the leftovers to the surrounding birds and threw the rest away, because seriously I could have consumed all 3 pieces in their entirety.

I spent a short time exploring San Francisco before heading back to the East Bay to do a quick stop at the Berkeley Farmer’s Market. After the Ferry Building, though, Berkeley’s was tiny in comparison. It had about half of the same vendors as the Ferry Building, but more of a local feel. A few people were playing the banjo and singing folk (no, I’m not kidding) and there were mostly college students and families with small kids. I tasted a few varieties of pears and decided to take a break on the sampling and get something that resembled more of a meal. I went with a trying something from a raw food stand in the spirit of my surroundings.

Raw pumpkin and shitake mushroom lasagna

lasagna

Pretty huh? It was light, healthy, and delicious. If I was going to try to deconstruct the dish, I would say, the bottom layer was some sort of ground cashew base, the pumpkin was sweetened and pureed and mixed with freshly diced vegetables like cucumbers, and then sprinkled with kale, mushrooms, and tomatoes. I’m going to look into recreating something like this at home.

Needless to say all of the tasting overwhelmed my stomach because the rest of the night was spent on the couch with a tummy ache. All in the name of research…

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